Collecting Bounty Buttons
Michael Wei takes on Josh Githens
as fellow Blue Devils Amanda Yu and Misha Lavrov check out the
gaming at their first WBC.
Eric Engelmann vs Dave Pack in the
qualifying rounds as the Monday event got underway with a large
San Juan enjoyed its highest attendance numbers since
it's inaugral year. After years of steady numbers in the 40s,
we made it to 74 and made the Century for 2010. In 2010, we made
"the century" in attendance as well, coming in at 102
Once again, there was a fairly large crowd at the demo, proving
that a game does not have to be new to draw people interested
in learning how to play. While many veteran players prefer to
play other experienced players in the "skill" games,
an "A" rating soon becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy
beckoning declining attendance while GMs who welcome new players
with a demo have a better chance of keeping their events around
by putting out the welcome mat. San Juan is not difficult
to learn, so several people learned the game an hour before they
were playing in the tournament. Many of them even won some games.
As in previous years, there were four rounds and you had to win
three times to advance to the elimination bracket. As usual,
if you won your first three games, you got to take a lunch break.
If not, you played the fourth round, hoping to squeeze in. When
all was said and done, a whopping 30 players advanced to the
As everyone was made aware, Tom Browne had won the last two years
in a row. An impressive feat, but one that we wanted to prevent
from happening again. And so, thanks to "button master"
Greg Schmittgens, we had lots of buttons made up with Tom's face
with a circle and a line through it. Tom got the lone button
with his face and a bullseye on it. Everyone was instructed that
if they knocked Tom out of the tournament, they got his button.
If he knocked another player out, he got your button. Tom was
a great sport and challenged everyone to "come and get him,
if they could". Nothing was said about it distracting attention
from the three Cabbies who had won in three of the previous four
years before Tom spoiled our party. After collecting buttons
of his own, Tom finally lost his to perennial finalist, Bruce
Reiff. (Big shock, huh?)
The 30 finalists were whittled down to Reiff and Raphael Lehrer.
After about three turns it was apparent Raphael was going to
win. Bruce could not draw a decent card to save his life, and
Raphael worked the purple building strategy to perfection on
his way to a blowout win. Next year, we gotta have " Get
Marie Pack vs Mark Neale in one of
51 opening pairings.
Raphael Lehrer, my hero, denies the
Bruce in the Final.